Australia: Labor market paints a mixed picture in April
Seasonally-adjusted employment increased by 28,400 in April from the previous month, following the revised 27,700 jobs added in March (previously reported: +25,700 jobs) and more than doubling analysts’ expectations of a gain of 14,000. April’s reading was driven by a rise in part-time workers which more than offset a decline in full-time workers.
Seasonally-adjusted unemployment inched up to 5.2% in April from March’s revised 5.1% (previously reported: 5.0%). However, this was due to an increase in the seasonally-adjusted participation rate, which rose from 65.7% in March to 65.8%. Meanwhile, the seasonally-adjusted underemployment rate increased from the previous month’s 8.2% to 8.5% in April.
Markets reacted by driving the Australian dollar down, sustained by higher expectations that, due to the pick-up in the unemployment rate, the Reserve Bank of Australia will cut interest rates at its next monetary policy meeting in June.